Cooking With Dutch Ovens - Are Dutch Oven's the Right Choice?
The Dutch Oven is one of the many names given to the traditional wooden Dutch oven. It is similar in shape to an English oven but much smaller. The Dutch oven is the ultimate in comfort and cooking. The reason that the Dutch have been able to use this cooking instrument for so long is because it does not break or warp when using it for long periods of time. Many of the designs from the seventeenth century are still around today, even in the homes of elderly people in the United States.
DescriptionThe Dutch Oven is a heavy-duty cooking pot with a tightly-fitting lid. Dutch ovens typically are made from seasoned cast iron; but any other type of material may be used, including cast aluminum, porcelain, or stainless steel. Some other metal varieties are less well-suited for use as cooking pots, and these include enameled instead of being powder coated, and copper instead of being anodized.
Functionality Dutch ovens provide the cooking user with an easy temperature control. The lid provides an airtight seal so that the coals do not touch or heat up the bottom of the pot, and prevents smoke from escaping. This can be important if you have someone that is very allergic to smoke. Otherwise, these pots prevent the coals from over-heating and burning the food. Because of their design, Dutch pots do not allow moisture to penetrate the sides. This makes them ideal for preparing foods such as meats.
StyleA Dutch Oven looks like a cast-iron pot, but is constructed out of heavy-duty stainless steel. They are available in a variety of styles and are made in various colors. They can be painted to match your kitchen decor, but enameled cast-iron and enameled black are the best choices. The handles of Dutch ovens may be bent in different configurations, but usually this is cosmetic and only has an effect on how the pot feels to the touch.
Durability Dutch ovens can last for many years, although they may begin to show signs of rusting after some years of use. Fortunately, this is a very common occurrence for Dutch ovens, as it is for most other type of cookware. Rusting may result from too much contact with the bare metal surface or from prolonged use in a humid climate. Other possible causes include improper cleaning and cooking, being exposed to too much heat, and storing your Dutch Oven incorrectly. If your Dutch Oven begins to rust, simply rub down the surface with petroleum jelly and then use non-abrasive dish detergent to remove any remaining traces of rust.
Appearance Dutch Ovens do not have a great deal of visual appeal, but they are still good for searing steaks and broiling meat. Their temperature control makes them excellent for browning meat in a matter of minutes. Some Dutch ovens come with side burners for added convenience and ease of use. Many models are also available with rotisserie racks, which allow you to roast, slice and cook meats without removing them from the heat source.
Cooking Safety Dutch Ovens, as with other types of cookware, are made out of copper or cast iron and are very heavy. Unless you intend to cook a small amount of food at a time, it may be better to purchase a smaller, lighter Dutch Oven. Dutch cookware, especially carried Dutch ovens, are also sometimes sold with nonstick interiors, but these vary from brand to brand and may not be worth the additional price.
Cost Effective Price While Dutch Ovens may be more expensive than other baking ovens, they are also often considerably more affordable. They are available at grocery stores and most department stores carry them as well. Because they are carried in grocery stores and department stores, the price is likely to be much less than if you were to buy a comparable model made out of aluminum. Cooking with cast-iron Dutch ovens is also very cost effective. As long as you can find a store that sells them, there is no reason why you should pay more than you have to.